tv Inside Story 2018 Ep 26 Al Jazeera January 26, 2018 8:32pm-9:01pm +03
bull's-eye dismissed as fake news a report suggesting he ordered the sacking of special prosecutor robert muller in june of last year the new york times says trump backed down when the top white house lawyer threatened to resign miller is leading the probe into allegations of collusion between the trunk campaign team and russia in the two thousand and sixteen election. and all the headlines a fire in a hospital in south korea has killed at least thirty seven people including patients and nurses in an intensive care unit firefighters in the southern city of marianne managed to rescue dozens of others trapped by the flames an investigation is now underway. turkey's president says his forces will sweep kurdish fighters from the syrian border and could even push all the way east to the iraqi front here the turkish offensive against the kurdish why peachey fight is in syria's african region has already strained ties with its nato ally the united states turkey considers the white beach a terrorist group but the militia has played a prominent role in u.s. led efforts to combat i still in syria and the u.n.
says that at least thirty people drowned when their boat capsized off the coast of yemen this week the u.n. says the boat was carrying people from somalia and ethiopia back to africa heading to chip boosie. absent without help still coming up in twenty five minutes time off to insights. the parting shot to me and mars leader from a veteran u.s. diplomat bill richardson says on some suit she lacks moral leadership and resigns from an international advisory panel of the door hinge or crisis while they bicker what about the plight of hundreds of thousands of refugees this is inside story.
hello and welcome to the program i'm. frustration over me and morris handling of the raw hinder crisis has boiled over into an argument between on some suit she and her friend now critic bill richardson the former u.s. ambassador to the u.n. resigned from an advisory panel set up by the government after accusing it of trying to whitewash the crisis and in his resignation letter richardson accused members of being a cheerleading squad for the government richardson was then accused by the government of having his own agenda his criticisms raise further doubts about a deal to repatriate nearly seven hundred thousand rohinton refugees stuck in bangladesh scott heiler has more from yangon. if you
listen to government leaders in myanmar this week was supposed to see a trickle of britain's refugees returning to these new repatriation centers in rakhine state they said from tuesday the centers were open and ready to receive but the other country in this equation bangladesh said incomplete paperwork for the refugees is causing a delay no word on just how long some human rights groups think it's much more than paperwork the fundamental problem is that all the operations and set up these plans have been used these negotiations have been done leaving the refugees outside the door and they haven't been consulted they haven't been talked to and many of the refugees are simply too afraid to go back anywhere near the burmese military also this week the launch of a new commission to follow up from a group headed by former u.n. secretary general kofi anon it's members both from myanmar and abroad are supposed to implement recommendations and advise on the range of crisis but even before
their first trip to recline the highest profile member bill richardson resigned the former u.s. diplomat described as a friend of leader on song suchi abruptly left after a heated exchange with her on her part richardson said that he left the commission because it was a whitewash and that on song suchi lacked moral leadership while government officials said that they dismissed him because he was here only to pursue his own agenda the remaining member of the commission rebuffed richardson's resignation saying the ma'am our government is both serious and listening to the commission will obviously didn't check with us before he made that statement and i think it's really unfortunate. he didn't join most of the proceedings. since through the years ago and. in any case it was not the intention. of the advisory board to move the final conclusions this week
one member of the kofi annan commission from myanmar gave us his view of richardson's departure and the need for better transparency the cement to be recalled which i think this is a little bit of a drawback but we can move on we should take criticism and if there is anything that we need to correct we should do that and if there is nothing wrong we should prove it by facts and figures and all to do that the basic fact is that you need people to go to that area but that hasn't happened or kind remains heavily controlled by the military humanitarian groups the un and media are still not allowed free access to recount so refugees hoping to return have to rely on limited information to make a very important decision got hodler al-jazeera young gone i reported from bangladesh in october and every day my camera team and i encountered people who'd
suffered some of the worst abuses we as journalists have ever come across we were told of atrocities including mass killings gang rapes and the raising of entire villages one thing we heard from every single refugee we spoke with was an overwhelming fear of what would happen to them if they returned to me and more and that's the subject of a recent film by fortify rights. then there. was an overload of not only got into the in. the not initially devoted to the i'm not undone among them i'm going to get them but better not let me have the another. let's bring in our guests in kuala lumpur is too and kin he is the president of the burmese or hinge organization in the united kingdom and a leading voice for hinges in exile matthew smith is the c.e.o.
of the southeast asia human rights group fortify rights and finally joining us from geneva switzerland is phil robertson who you just saw in scott's p.c. is the deputy director of human rights watch is asia division welcome to you all matthew i want to start with you we saw those clips from the film that fortify rights produced tell us about what are the ins and outs of this repatriation deal there have been so many questions for more questions than answers are there any more indications that we know what the nuts and bolts of this deal might actually be well we know that bangladesh has a enormous refugee population and desires to rid itself of the population we know that the memoir authorities have constructed basically what amounts to internment camps on the medium our side of the border to receive refugees but we also know that refugees are very reticent even scared as you
mentioned to go back to their homeland but apart from that the bangladesh authorities have essentially said that there are logistical kinks they're trying to work out. in our view and what we're seeing on the ground refugees are not lining up to participate in this process. phill criticism of some sochi has been growing in the international community for months does this very damning statement by bill richardson after his resignation does that put a sufficient amount of pressure on on the now that it would change anything in any way would at some point we expect to see her actually denouncing the actions of the military i think it's a wake up call for the diplomatic community and the u.n. representatives in myanmar who have been cheerleading also for aung san suu kyi who have been claiming that you know any criticism of her alternately will play to the
benefit of the military quite clearly this is a military that is not afraid of accountability it's not expected to be held accountable and sushi is essential to become a element in the coverup that's what's really being said here that's what was revealed that you know she doesn't want to know what actually happened and if she did know she didn't want to do anything about it but i don't think that bill richardson's actual criticism will be enough to actually turn the tables i think that suchi is now looking to the other members of the commission to support her and to sort of push aside criticism from richardson and i think that you know she is hoping that the people will be willing to go along with her version of reality the really sad part of this is that the chair of this commission dr soup sort of hits at the end of high from thailand you know it doesn't seem to be exercising the kind
of leadership that we saw from kofi annan he is clearly in a different league and it appears that he is prepared to go along with the version of events that suchi in the military have been presenting to them. turn kim the ranger had their citizenship withdrawn in what was then burma thirty five years ago the man more government considers them illegal immigrants what is their status currently in bangladesh you know yes there have been. a step to a step they are trying to get rid of running up a petition you know that's what when we talk about. is systematically prostitution and systematically they are driven out and it's a general sight what's happening to their own that's what we can see what we can see here of very few days in bangladesh i. think they will return to burma as though with the situation what do they have if out in burma that is one thing that we need to look at you know the situation in bangladesh if you can since
a really bet so what we need to see now is into an international community what they have to do as we have seen also whitewash these commission what to do trying to do this is quite critical time for us that's what i can see matthew you just heard to you can use the word genocide now in december un human rights chief said the person addressed a human rights council session in geneva and he said that an act of genocide against for him to muslims by state forces in myanmar cannot be ruled out now that was definitely a change because for months before that we kept hearing the term ethnic cleansing being utilized by u.n. officials and by rights groups and by international governments so does the fact that the un human rights chief utilized the word genocide changed things sufficiently do you expect that more groups now and that more officials might be utilizing that word and raising the alarm bells well i think the policy options
that governments have are present whether or not the high commissioner for human rights is invoking the term genocide. we put out a report with the u.s. holocaust more. museum in november that it was a yearlong investigation that found mounting evidence of the crime of genocide against the engine rakhine state and there have been other reports and studies the state crime initiative there was also a report by a team from yale law school that had legal findings pointing towards genocide this isn't going on for a very long time i think certainly the high commissioner's remarks would wake would wake some people up it's not enough there definitely needs to be a bigger there needs to be a sea change among the diplomatic community among the international community and right now mia mars' military leaders and other state security officials in the country are getting away with these crimes some of the worst crimes that can be
perpetrated are being perpetrated with complete impunity and that needs to change phil rights groups have been calling for a while now in the un security council to refer me and more to the international criminal court in the hague but i mean more is not a signatory to the rome treaty so even if the un security council word to refer me and more to the i.c.c. would that make any difference. well it would make a difference because actually that referral from the u.n. security council is the only way you can get a non ratifying state like burma to the i.c.c. we have been calling for this all along we've demanding that there be international criminal justice in this case because it's quite clear that both the myanmar military and the civilian government are more inclined to cover things up than actually prosecute individuals who are responsible for these atrocities but where we think that the security council shouldn't just stop there where we've been
calling for a global embargo on arms to the burmese military and we're also calling for targeted sanctions to be put on specific individuals who are determined to have played a leading role in the atrocities and the crimes against humanity against the rohingya i think that you know people don't have to wait for the u.n. security council on those kind of targeted sanctions the e.u. should be taking them up the united states should do more and other countries should join that movement and putting pressure on the burmans government and military by identifying and targeting the individuals most culpable for those those crimes one can we hear criticism all the time that that the international community is simply not doing enough to try to mitigate in this crisis what more can the international community can the u.n. can governments do to try to help i think we need to look at what separately to the role he is general site for many years go in what we have seen even after all the
august twenty fifth is it clear we have seen you had a secret council discussed two times and we have seen about twenty yes un general assembly resolution u.n. . resolutions since ninety nine to over so many are small you your group doesn't need to. need to be phased in general sidle x. from verb its military and the governments you know all. let me bring one thing you know like when i was young like when i was born like one nine hundred eighty s. this is the time you know the big egg that's happened to routine gets you know the first time after they got two hundred fifty thousand push back from by luck they did introduce you to citizenship law really got become a spade last in they are all just the way we look at this international community have to look at bromance people including military and car and metal to government
there is no willingness to solve the issue various no clear you know attitude to restrict the our rights so. what we need is this time is we need air international protection and you mechanised them to protect this people inside burma same time this really gets the certain read of fifty thousand they will not return to not the policy not changed to issues changed its policy new and secretly calls and the international community must come for what collectively to go ted them matthew you heard took sen speak very passionately there about the fact that there needs to be a mechanism by which the safety and security of the hinter refugees can be guaranteed once they might return to me and more now from your point of view are there any indications that basic conditions in me and more that made there are hinges so vulnerable to decades of persecution violence inside of me and more have
changed i don't unfortunately not muhammad the the situation in northern rakhine state actually the situation throughout all of rakhine state. and still involves systematic human rights violations against the ruins of population as well as other muslim populations in rakhine state there are severe restrictions on freedom of movement even restrictions on repairing one's home and other daily activities. so. until that that fundamental until that architecture of abuse is changed it really makes very little sense and it would be it would be quite dangerous in fact for a large refugee population to go back to these areas and frankly i think me and more right now is trying to communicate to the international community that it's that it's seeking solutions and trying to do the right thing they're doing that without actually making fundamental changes on the ground and that's that's one of
the the biggest problems right now in rakhine state phil what are some of the concrete steps that need to be taken in order to be able to craft a repeat relation deal that might have the potential to work well first and foremost talk to the rohingya i mean this was an agreement that was done between me and maher and bangladesh without the involvement of the people concerned the rowing go were completely left out of this discussion there was no conversation between them and policymakers on why they would go back what guarantees they had what protections they insisted on none of this i mean the only way that the rohingya have been able to communicate their concerns is by protest in the camps which we saw earlier this week so you know if we look at the fundamental problem of this agreement the rohingya are not part of it the other part is the un refugee agency u.n.h.c.r. is not part of it bangladesh has said that they will have you and needs you are
involved in the bangladesh side of the border but on the myanmar side of the border and says that you need share or only be involved as appropriate that means the government of myanmar has an expected veto or over any participation or any monitoring of returns by you a need c.-r. to northern rakhine state that's simply not acceptable without the un refugee agency there is an equal partner and. able to say look you know the situation is not ready for these people to go back they're not protected then you know this this this agreement is not going to function it's not going to work you know the rohingya are talking about you know we need u.n. peacekeepers in northern rakhine state that's not going to happen but you know it gives you an idea of the gap where myanmar saying everything's ready they go back now in the running they're saying we're not going to go back with our peacekeepers you know that that shows that basically there is no agreement and as long as the
people in those camps are not prepared to go back nothing's going to move on the ground too and can speaking of the humanitarian impact of all this have conditions in camps like to prolong and other camps and cox's bazaar in parts of bangladesh improved at all of late for the range of population i don't think what we appreciate what so if i international community has been awful in a charity i need we really appreciate bangladesh government and the public the survivor is cannot go along with the how you know it's seven hundred thoughts and guesses is flat a lie to mum we need to look at how we can and how we can press law to berkeley if military and good and i do government because we have not seen that attitude to what's real india from military from an energy from the outer city there is nothing changed you have we have seen many as one part of the this is the last one what we
have seen from former diplomat you know you have diplomat being researched and so we dismissed that's why i'm full but my focus is while we can bring i.c.c. how we can get a stronger util through the mission from the un as we are how we can provide poor protection you know so this is what we need to collectively at the gate for this if you continuously and i think you know it is important that. we don't protection here safety security and protection would doubt that there is no way to return and you know really get being even guy in prison for more than what you fight b.s. so how come how they will gold will go good but webb they have two possible three to four check winds even at present and we don't you know i'm sorry when she wants to give up but this is the situation there so we need to know the situation we need to see what's happened to them so this is what intuition i'm certain is already interrupt you to do right it's just that we're running out of time and i just want
to pick up on something you mentioned there about the or him to that have been living for decades already in bangladesh and i wanted to ask matthew when i was in cox's bazaar i spoke to many were going to refugees that had been there since the ninety's they were saying that they were very familiar with anti-roll him just sentiment and that they felt that resentment against them was deepening since this past august and the latest exodus now could you speak about that what is the feeling toward them from what you've observed on the ground in places like cox's bazaar well we've seen some very positive behavior from state security officials from bendish border guards over the last year to protect the refugee population coming in it's important to mention though that that could change in an instant in soon as word comes down from dhaka we may start to see the authorities effectively coercing people back to me and more or as they've done in the past force refugees back into me and more but in terms of the local bangladeshi
population there are there are certainly tensions you know this is a this is an enormous influx now there are more than a million in this part of on the dash and and there are certainly tensions with the local communities the local bangladeshi communities there are also local bangladeshis who are their businesses have. improved dramatically over the last several months so there are a whole variety of experiences. now i think what needs to happen is bangladesh needs to be pressured to ensure the protection of the refugee populations and to ensure that that refugees are not forced out of the situation forced back into me and mark and phil picking up also on what matthew which is saying for talking about you know bangladesh insuring the protection of this refugee population we must also speak about the physical conditions on the ground in those camps when i was in cox's bazar the conditions were appalling these tents made of bamboo and tarp and
the question was what happens when monsoon season starts again many of these tents are built on the hillsides when the rain comes there's a real concern now they could be washed away could you tell us about your fears of what might happen to the rohinton who are already there in the region that keep fleeing me and more in these camps with conditions being as they are well you raise a good point because this really this area really is in the monsoon belt both for state and for bangladesh you know we have been concerned not only for the groups and long another place in bangladesh but also for the internally displaced persons one hundred twenty or so thousand that are still in the areas west of sit way in central rakhine state that all you need is one typhoon with a direct hit on that area and you're going to be dealing with a disaster because there's nothing to protect those people from severe weather you know i think that the international community is certainly focused on these kind of
issues humanitarians are trying to come up with solutions people recognize the vulnerability of the environment there and i think that from the first weeks of the crisis to now i there's been a real improvement in the humanitarian agencies capacity to come up with solutions and and try to sort out ways to ensure that the safety of the road. is maintained no matter what sort of weather hits that area but in central rakhine state where there. this mass group of i.d.p.'s everybody has forgotten about them these are the people who were displaced in two thousand and twelve when there was also crimes against humanity in june and october of that year that drove everyone out of sit way the you know a city that was used to be fifty percent muslim and fifty percent buddhist is now completely rakhine buddhists because all the rohingya have been driven out these people also need to be cared for and those people are also being facing restrictions on because are the humanitarian agencies have difficult to access
these areas and you know when we talk about what the rohingya from bangladesh will be going back to it's probably something like these i.d.p. camps which are essentially open air internment camps and all these risk factors you've raised about month soon about diseases about lack of security all those things apply in both bangladesh camps and also these i.d.p. camps gentlemen we're going to have to leave it there thanks to all our guests tonight ken matthew smith and phil robertson and thank you too for watching you can see the program again any time by visiting our website al-jazeera dot com and for further discussion go to our facebook page that's facebook dot com forward slash a.j. inside story you can also join the conversation on twitter our handle is at a.j. inside story for me mama june and the whole team here bye for now.
what makes this moment this era we're living through so unique this is really an attack on the truth itself is a lot of misunderstanding a distortion isn't of what free speech is supposed to be about the context it's hugely important level wise to publish it beat up again to be offensive or provoke the thought of it as people did setting the stage for a serious debate up front at this time on al-jazeera. rewind returns with new updates on the best of al-jazeera as documentaries. and the
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